Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Feats for Races

I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?

Also, some of the feats significantly alter a character's body. Barbed Hide, for example, endows a Tiefling with a barbed hide. That's not the sort of thing that you can acquire through training. Which gives rise to the question, "Why couldn't the Tiefling do this at level 1?" It's not like Pole Arm Master, where you can explain the acquisition of the new ability through practice and training. Either you were born with a barbed hide or you weren't.

Same with Dragon Wings: "You sprout draconic wings." I'm not well-versed in Dragonborn lore, but is that really something that just... happens during their adult life?
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Agreed. There's a big difference between powergaming your damage and powergaming your capability. Well chosen feats open up brand new options, which are usually more important than boosting average damage 10-15% or so.

Yeah, my understanding of the old 3.X "class tiers" lists were that tiers were defined by versatility first and efficacy second. The most powerful D&D characters have always been the most versatile, and versatility is what feats in general tend to add.
 

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OB1

Jedi Master
I really, really don't like Bountiful Luck. Not even because of its power level. But it's just kind of a :):):):):):) mechanic, imo.

The Halfling uses their reaction to allow someone to reroll a bad roll.

What exactly is the metaphor, here? It can't be that the halfling's luck is rubbing off on other people, because that should take absolutely zero effort. If any kind of action economy is being used, the Halfling isn't passively lucky, they are actively or reactively manipulating luck. That really bothers me, because I always thought of halflings as one of the less magical races.

Perhaps think of it like taking the Help action as a reaction, but only on a crit fail. The Luck part of it is in seeing the failure before it happens and then reacting to it to give your companion a better chance at success.
 

Colder

Explorer
Perhaps think of it like taking the Help action as a reaction, but only on a crit fail. The Luck part of it is in seeing the failure before it happens and then reacting to it to give your companion a better chance at success.

That's not Bountiful Luck, that's Bountiful Reactions or Split-second Assistance. And that'd be fine if that was the concept they end up going for, but currently the concept is someone who has just so much good luck that it spreads to those around them.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
That's not Bountiful Luck, that's Bountiful Reactions or Split-second Assistance. And that'd be fine if that was the concept they end up going for, but currently the concept is someone who has just so much good luck that it spreads to those around them.

It's being lucky that allows the reaction in this way to help others, whereas usually being lucky only helps yourself. You are using your luck to help others, thus spreading it around to them.

I'm thinking of a "Boba Fett? Where?" situation where Han spins around with the staff and just so happens to ignite Boba Fett's jetpack before he would have shot Luke.
 

Colder

Explorer
It's being lucky that allows the reaction in this way to help others, whereas usually being lucky only helps yourself. You are using your luck to help others, thus spreading it around to them.

I'm thinking of a "Boba Fett? Where?" situation where Han spins around with the staff and just so happens to ignite Boba Fett's jetpack before he would have shot Luke.

I don't think that scene matches the mechanic at all. I'm totally alright being the weird one, though.
 

I really, really don't like Bountiful Luck. Not even because of its power level. But it's just kind of a :):):):):):) mechanic, imo.

The Halfling uses their reaction to allow someone to reroll a bad roll.

What exactly is the metaphor, here? It can't be that the halfling's luck is rubbing off on other people, because that should take absolutely zero effort. If any kind of action economy is being used, the Halfling isn't passively lucky, they are actively or reactively manipulating luck. That really bothers me, because I always thought of halflings as one of the less magical races.

So much this. My single biggest beef with 5E is how WotC keeps writing rules in terms of action economy and rules jargon, with no consideration for what those rules mean in roleplaying terms. Every time I see an ability like Bountiful Luck I cringe.

Not in my game, no thank you!
 

Colder

Explorer
So much this. My single biggest beef with 5E is how WotC keeps writing rules in terms of action economy and rules jargon, with no consideration for what those rules mean in roleplaying terms. Every time I see an ability like Bountiful Luck I cringe.

Not in my game, no thank you!

I remember seeing one of your posts on the subject and I think it bothers me way less than you, but this particular case is extremely egregious.
 

Oofta

Legend
I have a whole lot of "meh" for these feats. I do think it's funny that you can have teleporting elves with super advantage while dwarves get a watered down version of second wind and mobility.

It seems like another UA pulling 5E more towards a 4e play style, which may be ok for some people. Just not my preference.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I don't think that scene matches the mechanic at all. I'm totally alright being the weird one, though.

I admit it's a stretch but I tend to try and find justification for a mechanic. The SW analogy may not have been the best. Really, it's about seeing a complete disaster right before it happens and being lucky enough to be able to react to it. That's why it only works on a 1.
 

Colder

Explorer
I admit it's a stretch but I tend to try and find justification for a mechanic. The SW analogy may not have been the best. Really, it's about seeing a complete disaster right before it happens and being lucky enough to be able to react to it. That's why it only works on a 1.

I just don't see what luck has to do with reaction time and critical decision making skills.
 

redkobold

First Post
I find this line mystifying: "These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign."

What are they trying to say here? Do these feats become unbalanced when combined with multiclassing?

I think this may be referring to when you take a feat. At 4th level in a single class you get Ability Score Improvement which is what can be traded out for a Feat. If you are a multi-classed 4th level character (Fighter 3/Rogue 1), you do not get Ability Score Improvement or chance to get a feat until the Fighter or the Rogue reach 4th level.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
I think this may be referring to when you take a feat. At 4th level in a single class you get Ability Score Improvement which is what can be traded out for a Feat. If you are a multi-classed 4th level character (Fighter 3/Rogue 1), you do not get Ability Score Improvement or chance to get a feat until the Fighter or the Rogue reach 4th level.

I would think it has more to do with e.g. Dwarf Grudge. It almost gives favoured enemy from Ranger to the Dwarf. That feat might vary in value depending on whether multiclassing is allowed or not.
 

Xeviat

Hero
I would think it has more to do with e.g. Dwarf Grudge. It almost gives favoured enemy from Ranger to the Dwarf. That feat might vary in value depending on whether multiclassing is allowed or not.

It stacks reasonably with Favored Enemy, though. And Ranger brings other baggage with it, so why should you have to multiclass ranger when you have a sworn enemy so deep that you should get bonuses?
 

I would think it has more to do with e.g. Dwarf Grudge. It almost gives favoured enemy from Ranger to the Dwarf. That feat might vary in value depending on whether multiclassing is allowed or not.

Yeah, I made the same assessment. Also that they haven't thought through all the possible MC combinations and how they might be broken, so Elven Accuracy + Champion 3 + Barbarian 2 might be completely stupid at 7th level (it's a 27% chance to crit on one attack) but they didn't consider that when designing the feat.

I made the same comment about stepping on the Ranger's toes with the skill feat Survivalist. It's like a less useful Natural Explorer that you get to use in every environment. As I mentioned in the feedback survey, this is probably more of a comment on the power level of these abilities and the Ranger more than a condemning of the feats.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Even if I didn't like this latest set of UA feats, I think racial feats makes a lot of sense. That's because (with very few exceptions) all racial benefits are gained at 1st level. Racial feats give you the option of adding some race-based advancement to your character, along the class-based advancement and background-based advancement (the latter is only in the form of proficiency bonus increase). Racial feats also have a history, and don't forget that a long time ago there were also racial classes. Yes it definitely makes sense to have racial feats in the game, even if these UA examples are not of my tastes.

Class-based feats are not needed. You are already supposed to have options and choice points within your class. Although of course there could be also class-based feats that offered some improvements to class specific features. For example, I would be in favor of a Sorcerer-only feat that granted more known metamagic abilities and/or more spell points. But I would prefer if they didn't go overboard with these, just a very few selected class-specific feats to target a couple of class mechanics that feel a bit too restrictive.
I'd rather the Sorcerer feat not be restricted, so it serves as both that and a multiclassing feat. And I want at least one such feat for every class. Preferably at least 2.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I'd rather the Sorcerer feat not be restricted, so it serves as both that and a multiclassing feat. And I want at least one such feat for every class. Preferably at least 2.

Agree with this. I'm not worried about classes or abilities stepping on toes in this edition, and would love to see a Metamagic Initiate feat.

And all of these new feats make me wonder if you could have a viable/not-overpowered class built completely around taking feats each level. Haven't thought out the below at all, and I'm sure there are a thousand reasons why it wouldn't work, but could there be a version that does? Would it even be interesting?

Dabbler
Level 1 - Hit Die 1d8; Gain 2 ability score increases; Pick 2 saves for proficiency; pick any 3 skills or simple weapon proficiency
Level 2-20 - Gain a 1d8hit die; gain 1 ability score increase (gain 2 on level 4, 8, 12, 16, 19)
 

Al2O3

Explorer
It stacks reasonably with Favored Enemy, though. And Ranger brings other baggage with it, so why should you have to multiclass ranger when you have a sworn enemy so deep that you should get bonuses?

I was thinking more along the lines of games where multiclassing is forbidden and a Dwarf player want to MC ranger would greatly increase the value of the feat.
 

Yeah, I made the same assessment. Also that they haven't thought through all the possible MC combinations and how they might be broken, so Elven Accuracy + Champion 3 + Barbarian 2 might be completely stupid at 7th level (it's a 27% chance to crit on one attack) but they didn't consider that when designing the feat.

I made the same comment about stepping on the Ranger's toes with the skill feat Survivalist. It's like a less useful Natural Explorer that you get to use in every environment. As I mentioned in the feedback survey, this is probably more of a comment on the power level of these abilities and the Ranger more than a condemning of the feats.

Considering they write at the beginning of each UA article that none of these are written with multiclassing in mind and that Jeremy Crawford has said before that anything from a UA that makes it to print will be fine-tuned and adjusted to be compatible with multiclassing, we should not worry about the balance right now, other than to tell them in the survey.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I want more of the race feats that make oddball race/class combinations work.

Or subclasses. yes

Give me and [MENTION=6799753]lowkey13[/MENTION] our damn gnome paladin subclass and feat, already! ANd include the ability to turn small critters into medium sized so you can ride them. Obviously!

But seriously, I'd love a couple feats for things like making a Gnome Barbarian. I'm gonna make one anyway, but a feat to make it run a little smoother would be nice.
 


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